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Has El Gordo touched you yet?

Have you bought a Sorteo de Navidad ticket this year?

Spanish National Christmas Lottery – El Gordo

Run on December 22nd every year since 1812, and drawn live on Spanish TV, this famous Spanish Christmas Lottery, is organised by a branch of the Spanish Public Administration, now called “Loterías y Apuestas del Estado.

Explanation Of The Spanish Christmas Lottery

In the Lotería Nacional hall in Madrid, pupils of the San Ildefonso school draw the numbers and corresponding prizes, singing the results aloud in front of the public. The famous Spanish lottery is considered the biggest worldwide with around 3 billion Euros up for grabs, and due to the sheer number of prizes, this procedure can take about 3 hours. The climax of the drawing is the moment when the first category, affectionately known as El Gordo (the fat one) is drawn and has the most money. In total there are 13,334 different prizes.

Spanish Christmas Lottery Tickets

The Sorteo de Navidad is based on tickets with 5 digit numbers. Each ticket comes with a religous Christmas scene that is changed every year. There are 85,000 different numbers from 00001 to 85000. Each number is given to 180 “Series”, each “Serie” is divided into 10 “Decimas” and each “decima” costs €20. An entire ticket (called a billete) costs 200 Euros and consists of 10 décimos (tenths of a ticket). As this may be a little too expensive for the average punter, the tickets are usually sold as tenths (décimos) for 20 Euros and the payout is then 10% of the published prize. If you buy from a bar or restaurant for instance, it may cost you 23 Euros as 3 Euros goes to a charity.

Buying A Spanish Christmas Lottery Ticket

When buying your ticket you can choose to either buying a single decimo, a whole ticket, or a fraction of your choice. But, if you don’t buy the whole ticket, someone else will buy the rest of your ticket. It is also possible to buy a smaller portion of the ticket by buying through a syndicate in your Spanish town or workplace.  In this way, a win in a small community can have a profound effect on the local economy.  So for instance, say you purchase 2 decimos. Then Person A buys 3 decimos and Person B buys 5 decimos. Your ticket wins €1,000. So you win €200, Person A wins €300 and Person B wins €500.

According to recent reports, about 98% of all Spanish citizens buy at least a small portion of a lottery ticket in the Christmas Lottery each year, even if they do not gamble during the rest of the year and lucky numbers are important and many people search around to find theirs.  For instance, numbers with 777 in them are popular.

Holidaymakers In Alicante Can Buy Tickets

The Spanish Christmas Lottery is open to all, so if you are on holiday in a villa in Alicante after July, when the Spanish National Christmas Lottery tickets go on sale, why not buy one?!

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